The paper "Puritan and Pilgrim in the 16th-17th Century in New England" examines the two religious groups, tracing the chains of cause and effect that resulted in the way that New England developed, and examining rural changes, and the cultural and economic aspects of these emerging communities…
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The emergence of both Puritans and Pilgrims can be traced fairly and squarely back to the tumultuous event of the Reformation in Europe. Starting in Germany, and spreading across Northern Europe, there was a growing dissatisfaction with aspects of the Christian Church leadership, particularly in areas related to abuse of finances, moral dissolution, and key theological issues relating to the role of bishops and senior clergy. In Britain there was an on-going religious debate relating to the Reformation agenda, but this was further complicated in the Church of England, which departed from the control of Rome, largely due to differences between Henry VIII and the Pope on the rules relating to marriage and divorce. In Scotland, the Presbyterians separated absolutely from Rome and set up their own structures, without the controversial bishop role, while in England many reformist Christians were dissatisfied with the compromises made by the Church of England. In the North East of England a small group were persecuted for refusing to integrate within the Church of England. Their major complaint was that the Church had not sufficiently cleansed itself of the immoral features that characterized the Roman Catholic church. This caused them to be rejected by their local parishes in England and so they emigrated first to Holland and then to the New World, hoping to build a new life there which was truer to biblical precepts. This intention to travel in search of their religious goals is what gave them the name “Pilgrims.”
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